Dairy Farmer Helps Cows Adjust to Daylight Saving Daylight saving time took effect Sunday morning. While many people complain about losing an hour of sleep, humans aren't the only ones affected by the time change. According to organic milk farmer Doug Beretta of Santa Rosa California, cows also have a problem adjusting to the new schedule, too.
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Dairy Farmer Helps Cows Adjust to Daylight Saving

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Dairy Farmer Helps Cows Adjust to Daylight Saving


Daylight Saving Time took effect this morning. Many of us lost an hour of sleep, but before we complain, let's hear what our next guest has to say. According to organic milk farmer, Doug Beretta of Santa Rosa, California, cows also have a problem with the time change. Doug is on the line. Doug, how did the cows react this morning?

Mr. DOUG BERETTA (Organic Dairy Farmer): Oh, they were - it was a little early for them to get up. They weren't quite used to heading for the barn at that time.

HANSEN: So did they look confused?

Mr. BERETTA: They do. You head out to the barn, you know, to get them up and they're kind of looking at you like, I think you're a little early here, but you know, they headed towards the barn once we get them going.

HANSEN: Okay. So you get them going, you get them in the barn, does the change have an effect on milking?

Mr. BERETTA: It does have a change in milk production. We actually - instead of changing the whole hour, we will only go a half hour in the morning, and then we start a half hour earlier in the afternoon, just so it's not such a big change for them.

HANSEN: Doug, how many cows do you have?

Mr. BERETTA: We milk 300 cows.

HANSEN: Three hundred?

Mr. BERETTA: Yes, we're - it's about average size for, you know, for our Sonoma County here in Santa Rosa.

HANSEN: Oh, no. So you got to get the whole herd adjusted?

Mr. BERETTA: Yes, this change here going - with the time going forward isn't quite as tough as the change when the time goes - when we gain an hour, because it's just - that extra hour of milk in their systems can sometimes - we can cause some health problems in their udders and things like that, so it's just easier to do it a half hour, you know, at a time instead of that one hour increment.

HANSEN: Do you think they're a little more confused this year because we're starting it earlier?

Mr. BERETTA: I don't know if that really - you know, really makes that big of a difference. They're on a 12-hour milking time, so you know any little change like that can confuse them for, you know, for a week or so.


Mr. BERETTA: We're still a little bit of, you know, the ground is still pretty wet here. We're not out on pasture in the evening. We go out in the morning. So tonight with the extra hour of daylight, they're going to want to head towards the gates, want to be out on the pasture just with that extra hour of daylight in the evening.

HANSEN: Do you have a ritual - I mean they don't get any naptime, you give them an extra treat?

Mr. BERETTA: No, no. They get that - they only got a half an hour, we got the whole hour. You know, so some people lost the whole hour, they only lost the half an hour, I guess.

HANSEN: You're the one that deserves the treat, huh?

Mr. BERETTA: Yeah.

HANSEN: All right. Well Doug Beretta is an organic dairy farmer in Santa Rosa, California. He's been helping his cows to adjust to this morning's arrival of Daylight Saving Time. He's also been adjusting his own body clock. Doug, thanks a lot.

Mr. BERETTA: All right. Thank you, Liane.

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